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Galaxy S21 Ultra: All the cool new camera tricks (and how to actually use them) – CNET



Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra has already proven to pack a formidable camera, full of features to help novices and pros alike take brilliant shots when out and about. It’s not a dramatic overhaul from the Galaxy S20 Ultra, with headline specs such as the 108-megapixel sensor and 100x zoom being common across both phones. But there are some new tricks to know about. 

Read more: Review: Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is the no-brainer upgrade phone

Let’s dive in to see what features are new and how to use them.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Single Take 

Single Take is a function that allows the phone to capture multiple images and video clips — each with a different effect applied — just by pressing the shutter button once. Its aim is to allow you to capture a whole variety of interesting photos and videos of, say, your child unwrapping a birthday present, without having to decide in advance on a particular style, zoom lens or filter. 

It was a feature launched on the Galaxy S20, but it’s been expanded to produce even more effects. It sounds complex, but using it is very straightforward. To start, tap into the Single Take camera mode in the mode dial next to the shutter button. Then, all you need to do is tap the shutter button and wait for the 10 seconds it takes to capture everything. The idea is that you’ll move around, maybe pan the camera between faces, so that the phone has more material to work with to create all the different options for you. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Once done, you can head into the gallery and find your Single Take file and swipe up to see the different items it’s produced. There’ll be still images, different cuts of videos, GIFs — all of which will have effects applied. You can save them all or pick your favorites to share with friends and family.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Using the zoom 

The S21 Ultra has a 3x optical zoom, a 10x optical zoom and can take digitally zoomed images up to a whopping 30x and 100x. Using them is dead easy. In the standard camera mode you’ll see small leaf icons next to the shutter button. A single leaf means zooming in (i.e. getting closer to the leaf); the icon with three leaves means using the super wide lens (i.e. capturing more leaves in one shot). Tapping the icons will take you quickly to 3x or 10x zooms, but you can also tap on the numbers that pop up next to them as well. 

It works just the same whether you’re zooming in when taking a still image or whether you’re recording video. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Night mode 

The proper Night mode on the S21 Ultra can be frustrating to find if you’re new to the phone and you may not even know it’s there at first. The phone can take great low-light images in its standard camera mode, but when things get really dark, scroll to More on the mode panel next to the shutter button and you’ll see a whole variety of different shooting options. 

One of them is called Night and is represented by an image of a moon. In this mode the phone will take an image over several seconds in order to capture more light. While it uses image stabilization to keep the shot as sharp as possible, you can help it further by keeping as steady a hand as possible, or even better by stabilizing your hands on a nearby wall or other object to minimize hand shake. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Director’s View

A new feature for the S21, Director’s View is a video feature that shows you thumbnails of what the scene you’re shooting will look like using the different zoom lenses. You’ll find it in the same menu screen as Night mode (tap More on the mode selection wheel). Once there, you’ll instantly see the different thumbnails and can tap on them to start recording video in each zoom length. 

Director’s View has an additional feature, however, that allows you to record video with the front and rear cameras simultaneously. The idea is that you can film a scene in front of you, while also capturing your own reaction to it. When in Director’s View you’ll see a square box at the top right of the screen (when held in portrait orientation, or at the top left if held in landscape). Tapping this will allow you to select how you want your front-facing video to be displayed; as a split-screen view where your face takes up half the screen, or as a smaller picture-in-picture style, where you appear as a small window overlaid onto the main view. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Tapping either of these will bring your face into the picture and hitting record will let you capture video with both sides at once. Remember though that the phone permanently bakes both videos into a single file, so don’t shoot with the front and back cameras at once hoping to separate them into individual videos later. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

108-megapixel images

The 108-megapixel resolution of the main camera sensor is huge and while it’s the same resolution as the S20 Ultra, it’s been given some software tweaks to improve it, so it’s worth checking out if you haven’t already. To activate it, start off in the standard camera mode and you’ll see some icons along the top of the screen (or the left, if you’re holding it in landscape mode), one of which will be for the aspect ratio and will be indicated with numbers such as 3:4, 1:1 or Full

Tap it and you’ll see the 3:4 108MP option. Tapping that will activate the high resolution mode, but keep in mind that with that active you won’t be able to use any of the zoom lenses as it relies solely on the main camera’s image sensor.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

12-bit raw  

Samsung has apparently given the S21 Ultra a boost in its raw shooting skills with support for 12-bit raw files. Raw files are essentially “digital negatives” that don’t save information like white balance or digital sharpening, giving a better base image for editing the shot later. Raw files are typically used by pro photographers who want the utmost control and quality from their images. 

12-bit raw files, in theory, capture more dynamic range meaning more detail in the highlights and shadows. It’s a pro feature perhaps, so it’s no surprise that you’ll need to go into More and then activate the Pro mode. This will bring up all the manual settings for exposure, white balance and auto focus, so it’s only worth experimenting with if you’re confident with your photography knowledge. Activating raw mode takes an additional step though; tap the settings cog, go into Format and advanced options and turn on RAW copies, which will allow the phone to take a raw image as well as a standard JPEG. 

Keep in mind, though, that raw files take up a lot more space than JPEG images, so if you’re running low on space, make sure you’ve not left this mode switched on and are accidentally filling up your gallery with high-resolution raw images of your pet. Unless that’s what you’re into.

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OnePlus partners with Hasselblad to develop cutting edge camera tech – MobileSyrup



OnePlus is bringing Hasselblad’s expertise into its camera development fold for the next three years to improve its mobile photography.

Starting with the OnePlus 9 series on March 23rd, OnePlus will reveal a revamped camera system that will hopefully put more eyes on its rather underrated camera system.

If you’re unfamiliar with Hasselblad, the company makes high-end cameras and is notable for creating the first camera used on the moon.

On top of the Hasselblad partnership, OnePlus says it will invest around $150 million USD (roughly $190 million CAD) to ensure it’s delivering the best camera experience possible to its customers. This includes two new imagine labs and other tech improvements that will be announced over the next few years.

OnePlus calls the OnePlus 9 Series camera system “vastly improved.” It goes on to mention that the partnership started with colour tuning and sensor calibration and that it will extend to other parts of the camera in the future.

One of the interesting improvements that OnePlus is teasing for the OnePlus 9 series is a new ‘T Lens’ that removes edge distortion in ultrawide photos.

Further, OnePlus has revamped the Pro camera mode on its new devices to make them look more Hasselblad-like and to include 12-bit RAW image files.

The OnePlus 9 series uses a Sony IMX789 sensor that’s touted as featuring great low-light performance, as well as 4K 120fps and 8K 30fps video recording.

I’ve been a fan of OnePlus’ camera colour science over the last few years. Still, I had issues with consistency between lenses, so hopefully, by partnering with a camera company like Hasselblad, OnePlus can really hone its camera tech to be better.

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B.C. woman's anxiety app featured in Apple's International Women's Day promotion – CTV News Vancouver



This International Women’s Day, a Vancouver Island woman is being recognized for a smartphone app she developed to help people who experience anxiety and panic attacks.

Ania Wysocka’s app Rootd will be featured in Apple’s App Store on International Women’s Day as part of a celebration of app developers who are women.

The Victoria resident told CTV News Vancouver she developed the app, which has been downloaded more than 600,000 times, in response to her own struggles with anxiety.

Wysocka had her first panic attack during her fourth year as an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia.

“I really had no idea what (panic attacks) were beforehand, and I was really caught off guard,” Wysocka said. “I was far away from home, I had no family doctor, I was on a student loan budget, so I really relied on things I could find in textbooks and different resources online to figure out what was happening.”

Years later, she would look back on the experience and think about how much better it could have gone if she had known what to expect.

“That’s what inspired me to start Rootd,” she said.

The app has everything from guided meditations to an actual panic button, and Wysocka said users tend to embrace the features that help them with their specific needs.

“People really use it differently depending on what they are experiencing,” she said.

At the centre of all the app’s features is Ron, a little monster who serves as Rootd’s mascot. He’s a visual representation of anxiety, but he’s also friendly and supportive, Wysocka said.

“He was really a representation of how I felt at the time,” she said. “Through learning cognitive behavioural therapy, you kind of realize that you have to befriend some of these emotions that are otherwise really overwhelming, and so Ron became the symbol for that.”

Some of Rootd’s users really relate to Ron, Wysocka said.

“They talk about him like he is a person,” she said. “There’s reviews that come in along the lines of, you know, ‘Ron is the only one there for me,’ ‘I feel so alone, but then I have Ron and Ron gets me through the night.'”

Wysocka said she’s happy that the app has been a success and that Apple has decided to feature it for International Women’s Day.

That said, the stories of everyday people who use the app are more important to her than how many downloads it gets.

“(People) use Rootd to go back to school, they use Rootd to go back to work, they use Rootd to rebuild confidence that panic attacks and anxiety have taken away from them,” Wysocka said.

The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play, and more information is available on the Rootd website.  

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa looks for volunteers for SpaceX flight around the moon – Time Bulletin



Eccentric Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is searching for eight civilian volunteers to take off to the Moon with him on the first-ever private commercial space trip.

The week-long journey, at first declared in 2018 and named “dearMoon” is set for 2023 onboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy Rocket, once known as the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket.

Albeit the next-generation Starship is as yet in testing, a few runs finishing off with fiery crashes, Musk has guaranteed it will be prepared to leave two years and has said he accepts the mission will “make a real difference.”

It will require three days to get to the lunar planet. The Starship will loop behind it and afterward start its three-day journey back home, making it the farthest distance any human has at any point gone from Earth.

In a video posted on Tuesday, the Zozo originator clarified that the full traveler list will incorporate 10 to 12 group individuals. The 45-year-old will bankroll the expedition, however, how stays unclear.

Even though Maezawa had initially indicated that candidates be specialists, that arrangement has since “evolved.”

“Every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist…and that is why I wanted to reach out to a wider, more diverse audience,” he said.

Presently, the Start Today Co. Chief has only two necessities: to have the option to push the envelope to help the “greater society” somehow or another and a have the willingness to help other team individuals who “share similar aspirations.”

Each picked member will wear an especially custom-tailored SpaceX suit that is made to give a compressed climate to all individuals and route communications and cooling systems to the astronauts during regular flight.

Outstandingly, in January of a year ago, Maezawa additionally launched a weird campaign to locate a “female partner” who might go with him, accepting 27,722 applications from single women older than 20 years of age.

The selectee would co-star in a reality show about the interaction on Japanese streaming service AbemaTV.

Nonetheless, following analysis, he immediately canceled the search and issued an apology.

At this moment, pre-applications for the selection process are expected by March 14 at 6:59 p.m. PT and beginning screening will start a week later. The last interviews and medical checks are planned for late May.

Inspiration4, another civilian mission in support of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, means to take off in SpaceX’s Dragon – which is now affirmed for human flight – when the year’s end.

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